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Wet Brine

Top Geek
A dry brine is most effective at extracting moisture from the meat, but a wet brine is great for adding flavor.
It replaces some of the plain water in the meat with flavor-infused salt water. This is going to take time and a vessel big enough to fit the pork butt covered with brine. It also calls for what looks like a lot of salt – don’t sweat it. Most of the salt will wind up going down the drain with the brine. You’ll make the brine first, then immerse the pork butt in it overnight. The next day, you’ll pull the pork butt and rub on the brown sugar and spice blend.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Brining Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Pork Butt/Shoulder


  • 5 cups Ice cubes
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal Salt
  • 1/4 cup White sugar
  • 4 whole Onions chopped course
  • 6 tbsp Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 8 cloves Garlic smashed
  • 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary whole
  • 1 bunch Fresh thyme whole


  • Bring 2 pounds (4 cups) of water to a boil on the stovetop. Add 3¼ ounces salt (that’s about ½ cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, 6 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher Salt, or 5 tablespoons Morton’s Table Salt). Add 1¾ ounces (¼ cup) white sugar and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Take the brine off the heat and add 2 pounds (4 heaping cups) ice. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 4 onions, chopped coarse; 8 cloves of garlic, smashed; 1 bunch fresh thyme; and 2 big sprigs of fresh rosemary. Note: change this part up as you like it, just make sure to use lots of your flavor ingredients. It’s an inefficient process, so you’ve got to overdo it to make an impact.
  • Transfer the pork butt and brine into your brining container (or maybe use the pot you cooked the brine in). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove the pork butt from the brine and let sit on a wire rack to drain while you prepare the rub. Mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar with one of the spice mixtures in a small bowl. Rub spice rub all over the pork butt.
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